Posts from January 4th, 2018

Thursday, 4 January 2018

“Of the Month” January 2018

Video Game of the Month:

Super Mario Odyssey

Yes, it is very, very good. No, it isn’t nearly as revolutionary as Breath of the Wild, but it is exceedingly clever in how it gets you to just keep playing it. Instead of scattering a handful of goals across its dozen levels (or “Kingdoms” as they’re called in this game), Odyssey has a veritable bounty of goals, almost over-saturating each area (and later in the game you can unlock even more). After you collect a “Power Moon,” you’re almost certainly likely to see something that will make you think, “I bet if I do this I’ll get another one…” and so on and so on, organically getting you to explore every single nook and cranny of this rather large game. Also, it harkens back to the Galaxy-style of play rather than the more recent 3D-World series of games, and as such it feels much broader and more open. The new “possession” mechanic is a lot of fun, and opens up even more possibilities. Much like Breath of the Wild, this is a Mario game where it seems like you can do just about anything, and almost all of it is a lot of fun.

Book of the Month:

Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line
by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

Many years ago, there was an excellent television show called Veronica Mars about a teenage sleuth. It was cancelled after its fourth season, but then many years later most of the people involved got together and did a Kickstarter to make a movie that took place after the series. Well, now we have a novel that takes place after the movie, continuing the adventures of the now all-grown-up titular private detective. Do you like Veronica Mars and wish that you could experience more of her adventures? Here you go! Oh, and if you want to know what happens after this novel, don’t worry; Rob Thomas has already written another one.

Tabletop Game of the Month:

Diamonsters

A fun bidding/collection game: The entire game consists of cards with monsters on them, numbered one through five. A card is turned face-up in the center of the players and then everyone secretly chooses a card in their hand and puts it face-down in front of them. Everyone reveals their bidding cards at the same time, and whoever played the highest number wins the center card and gets to add it and the card they bid with into their collection (then they draw a new card). If you manage to collect three of the same cards, you win that round. Also, some cards have diamond icons on them, and if you get five of those diamond icons in your collection then you win the round. The trick is, if two or more players bid with the same number, they have to put their bidding card back into their hand and whichever of the remaining players has bid with the highest number wins the center card. What I really like about this game is that it scales very well. You could play an epic game that lasts until a singer player wins seven rounds, or you could play a single round in just a couple of minutes. Also, the fact that if you win a bid you place the bidding card into your collection and then have to draw a random card to replace it means that you can’t rely on having any particular number in your hand at any given time. In fact, you could end up with a hand full of twos and threes for example. It’s fun and fast-paced.

Categories: Of the Month.